reading a book some persons turn to the last page to determine thelength; others leaf through it to see the illustrations, if any; still otherswithout preliminaries begin at the beginning and start reading; but a few, avery few, wanting to know why or how the book ever came to be written,as well as a few things about the author, turn to the preface, if perchancethere they may find the answer to their query. To such inquiring readerswe wish to say that this book grew up somewhat after the nature of Topsy: it began without any inclinations or aspirations to become a book.The first impetus to writing about any of these heroes began more thanfour years ago in the request for a series of articles for the
Signs of theTimes.
Inspired by the words of John Ruskin, who said that if he wantedto learn about a subject he wrote a book on it, we proceeded to write thearticles, G.D. as researcher and author, and H.B. as amanuensis and typist.Each wrote some essays in their entirety, but more often the two of us didresearch and collaboration, writing, and rewriting each other’s work, untilnow it is often difficult to tell where the labor of one ends and that of theother begins.In the process of gathering material on many of the lesser known, yetequally important, heroes for this volume, it became H.B.’s privilege tostudy at the Huntington Library, San Marino, California, as well as atother leading libraries in the West.Thus Topsy has grown into a full-fledged book. Not only that, but thereare plans on foot for more on the heroes of the Reformation in the nationsof Southem Europe, a somewhat neglected field, and on the still moreignored subject of heroines of the Reformation — those women, of whomthere were scores, who stood shoulder to shoulder with the men in thepromulgation of the gospel.Should the reader desire to know anything about us personally, we referyou to the hundreds of students who have passed through our collegeclassroom doors and who have given us the inspiration to carry on. If theiropinion of us is a tithe as great as ours is of them, the heroes and heroinesof our modern day, then our reputation rests in safe hands.
G.D.H. and H.B.H.